In 1986, Jeanne Anne Clery awoke to a robbery before she was raped and murdered by another student in her Lehigh University dormitory.
The tragedy gave birth to the Clery Act in 1990 after Clery’s parents demanded justice for their daughter. The act is a federal requirement for colleges and universities across the nation to collect crime statistics throughout the year to be made available to the public every October.
Under the Clery Act, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s 2019 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report revealed a total of 701 on-campus crimes reported last year – a decrease from 886 in 2017 and 1,073 in 2016.
“We see different numbers every year,” Department of Public Safety Community Programs Director Sarah Rice said. “It’s important to remember that these are the crimes reported to us.”
The report focuses on crimes defined by the Clery Act: murder/non negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, sexual offenses (rape, statutory rape, incest and fondling), arson, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, liquor law violation, drug related violation, weapons possession violation, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
The majority of the crimes reported under arrest and disciplinary referrals last year were liquor law violations (341) and drug related violations (276); three drug related arrests were on campus while two were off campus property.
Rice said most of the crimes were discovered because of loud house parties in the dormitory. She added that though cases vary, illegal acts often included adults 21 or over buying alocohol for minors or students with medical marijuana cards smoking in their dorms.
“Even if somebody is a medical marijuana card holder, it’s not legal to have it in student housing because it’s state property,” Rice said.
According to Rice, under the report’s arrests and disciplinary referrals, one possession of a weapon was reported due to a student playing with a stun gun, which is illegal to own in Hawai‘i, in her dorm.
The new report also revealed crimes reported are motor vehicle theft (36) and burglary (10).
“Mopeds are easy to take because they’re very light,” Rice said. “Honestly because when people don’t lock them, it makes it easy.”
According to Rice, 78% of moped theft victims this year did not lock their moped, while 22% said they did.
Other crimes gathered for the statistics come from the Title IX office. Under sex offenses are fondling (6), rape (3), dating violence (7) and stalking (13).
Rice said a stalking related offender is typically known by the victim. In some cases it can be related to dating violence.
“We’re not seeing stranger danger type incidents on campus,” Rice said.
Some campus departments took the initiative of having security cameras installed in their buildings.
“There’s no centralized system on campus, but there’s been discussions on having one,” Rice said.
A couple weeks ago, department chair of communicology Amy Hubbard received an overwhelming number of alarms on her phone about motion detected from George Hall by security cameras. It turned out, it was a burglary.
“Our video is motion activated,” Hubbard said. “It goes on to where they can figure out what is going on. The person wasn’t breaking into the offices, and he went into three different offices. No one was in the building when it happened.”
Mānoa Guardian App
The Mānoa Guardian phone app has been connecting students faculty and staff with DPS since 2015.
New features have been installed in the app such as an added call directory to Pau Violence, Title IX and other services on campus. Another new feature was web content that also connects to other resources on campus besides DPS.
Other features of the phone app include reporting incidents to DPS through text and a safety timer for moving from one location to another.
“The focus is prevention,” Rice said. “If we can give people the education, and we can give them tips for staying safe so it prevents them from being a victim of crime.”